CHAPTER 14: Bioactive Minor Egg Components
Published:01 May 2019
J. Gautron, N. Guyot, A. Brionne, and S. Réhault-Godbert, in Eggs as Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals for Human Health, ed. J. Wu, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019, pp. 259-284.
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In the last 15 years, the development of functional genomics has increased the number of egg proteins identified from 50 to about 1300. These proteins are initially present in eggs to support a harmonious embryonic development. Consequently, this closed embryonic chamber contains molecules exhibiting diverse functions, including defense, nutrition and many predicted biological activities, which have been investigated using both bioinformatics and experimental investigations. In this chapter, we focus on some very interesting activities of high potential reported for minor egg proteins (excluding ovalbumin, ovotransferrin and lysozyme). The shell matrix proteins are involved in the calcification process to define and control the final texture of the shell and thereby its mechanical properties. Antimicrobial proteins are part of innate immunity and are mainly present in the white and vitelline membranes. They encompass several protein families, including protease inhibitors, vitamin-binding proteins, defensins, LBP-PLUNC family proteins and heparin-binding proteins. The egg also possesses additional bioactive proteins with direct anti-cancerous and antioxidant activities or whose biochemical properties are currently used to develop diagnostic tools and strategies for targeted therapy. Finally, this chapter also reports some emerging functions in tissue remodeling/wound healing and proposes some relevant bioactive candidates and research fields that would be interesting to investigate further.